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Published on April 2nd, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan

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19-Year-Old Aerospace Student Boyan Slat Invents Cleanup System For Plastic Choking Our Oceans

April 2nd, 2013 by  



19-year-old Boyan Slat’s impassioned and educated opinion reminds us that youth, with its promising vital force, often taps into genius. If he is correct, Slat has designated some flair for environmental cleanup. He believes with his idea, developed for a student project in Aerospace Engineering, that it is possible the dreadful plastic that is choking the oceans (poisoning animals and human food chains) can thoroughly clean itself in 5 years – that is a lot less than the 79,000 years of another estimate.

ocean cleanup array

Ocean Cleanup Array. Image Credit: Boyan Slat

Plastic once seemed as a piece of the revolution for a positive future. Presently, however, plastic has multiplied to an unfathomable degree, and as in the science fiction novel mention below, increasing development of plastic is now a twin-edged point of contention.

It reminds me of the War with the Newts, a 1936 satirical science fiction novel by Czech author Karel Čapek, but with plastic replacing the Newts in this novel. Plastic certainly is, in only a few decades, taking over the world. Increases found in the most vulnerable of systems, the globe’s water systems, result in numbers such as 7.25 million tons, and graphic images such as 1000 Eiffel towers (of plastic garbage) floating in water.

Some of the most notable places studied where plastic pollution is evident is in the giant trash gyres (trash vortexes) floating in the oceans. These plastic garbage patches have been written about, and vilified, by many, but that has also served as an excellent visual aid for spurring people to action about plastics, recycling, and waste in general.

Ocean Cleanup Array. Image Credit: Boyan Slat

Ocean Cleanup Array. Image Credit: Boyan Slat


79,000 Years of Cleanup to an Efficient 5 Years

Check out Slat’s The Ocean Cleanup for more details on his plans to clean up the ocean at an incredible speed. Boyan explains how he envisions shortening a projection of 79,000 years of cleanup to an efficient 5 years.

And definitely watch this Ted talk below and learn about a future that he considers viable. I believe that as much as the Baby Boomers had their ideals, the best thing they did was give life to younger generations that have a working pragmatism, scientific curiosity, and a healthy dose of idealism.

 
 





 

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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